Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

A) to make students familiar with the basic aspects of contemporary constitutionalism in Western democracies, countries in transition to democracy and beyond, B) to show them that comparative constitutional law gives us a better purchase on our own legal systems and legal cultures; C) to push them to evaluate the foundations of individual legal system; D) to provide them with a critical understanding of the strengths and limits of constitutional law in regulating social and political processes.

Course contents

1) What is a Constitution?

2) Why Comparative Constitutional Law?

3)Constitutional Models

4) Judicial Enforcement of the Constitution and Models of Constitutional Adjudication

5) Horizontal Separation of Powers: Presidentialism and Parliamentarism

6) Federalism Vertical Separation of powers

7) Protecting Fundamental Rights: Equality,Minority and Group Rights

8) Freedom of Expression

9) Freedom of Religion and Belief


Dorsen, Rosenfeld, Sajo, Baer and Mancini, Comparative Constitutional Law. Cases and Materials, Third Edition, West, 2016 (relevant Sections will be available online)

Teaching methods

Course requirements include regular class attendance, active participation in class discussion

Assessment methods

The final grade will be determined in the light of a take-home paper (3000 words including footnotes but not including bibliography)  The deadline for submitting the paper is DECEMBER 20. Grades will be lowered by 2 points for each day of delay.

The wordcount for the paper is 3000 (papers will be accepted so long as they are no more 10% below or above that figure).

Students will be able to choose among three topics, which will be made public early at the beginning of the course. You should use the coversheet provided on Online Materials. Papers should contain different Sections, with titles, starting with an Introduction. Papers should not consist in a mere juxtaposition of cases and/or legislation, and should be analytical. You are welcome to provide your personal opinion on your topic, as long as it relies on a robust analysis and on a solid bibliography. Papers should not simply list different countries' legal frames , and should rather engage in a fruitful comparison (comparing the rationale of different laws and different judicial approaches).

You should rely mainly on books, law journal articles and cases (NEVER on Wikipedia). In order to conduct your research, you should go to the Law School library and in case you have difficulties, schedule an appointment with a librarian who can teach you how to access databases. I expect a paper to have a bibliography consisting as a minimum of 15 entries.

Papers should be written in English (spelling must be consistent and can be American or British) in a clear, correct, idiomatic and comprehensible manner.

Papers should include a bibliography at the end, listing all cited works and cases, and should include footnotes (not endnotes). Papers with no footnotes and/or no bibliography will be given a failing grade. Also, below you see how to quote your entries according to the Chicago Manual of Style. You should strictly follow these rules, unless you prefer to quote according to a different style (e.g. Oxford), which is fine as long as it is consistent. Please bear in mind that your grade will be determined also in the light of how accurately you quote your entries.

How to quote different entries:



(up to two authors): Liam P. Unwin and Joseph Galloway, Peace in Ireland(Boston: Stronghope Press, 1990), 193.

(more than 3 authors): Charlotte Marcus et al., Investigation into the Phenomenon of Limited-Field Criticism (Boston: Broadview Press, 1990), 163-165.

(edited books): Anthony B. Tortelli, ed., Sociology Approaching the Twenty- first Century (Los Angles: Peter and Sons, 1991).


Cartright C. Bellworthy, “Reform of Congressional Remuneration,” Political Review 7 , no. 6 (1990): 93-94.



(up to two authors): Unwin, Liam P., and Joseph Galloway. Peace in Ireland. Boston: Stronghope Press, 1990.

(more than 3 authors): Marcus, Charlotte, Jerome Waterman, Thomas Gomez, and Elizabeth DeLor. Investigations into the Phenomenon of Limited-Field Criticism . Boston: Broadview Press, 1990

(edited books): Tortelli, Anthony B., ed. Sociology Approaching the Twenty-fi rst Century . Los Angeles: Peter and Sons, 1991.


Bellworthy, Cartright C. “Reform of Congressional Remuneration.” Political Review 7 , no. 6 (1990): 87-101.

For further clarification please visit the Chicago Manual of Style online at<http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html>


Office hours

See the website of Susanna Mancini